In The Kitchen

The REFB Kitchen Collective Program transforms donated ingredients into complex, nutritious, seasonal entrées for low-income seniors and families throughout Sonoma County. Under the leadership of our creative chef, Don Nolan, several groups of dedicated volunteers gather Monday through Friday to combine fresh produce, staple foods, proteins and whole grains, to create wholesome and delicious heat-and-serve meals for our low-income neighbors in need.

Kitchen Collective entrées help alleviate the challenges associated with preparing a healthy meal for those who have limited resources, disabilities, illness, lack of knowledge or understanding, or time or energy constraints due to overwhelming life circumstances.

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This month, Chef Don and his team of volunteer sous chefs are preparing mushroom “bacon” snacks!








Mushroom Bacon

The Redwood Empire Food Bank frequently receives donations of fresh mushrooms, and many of our program participants are unsure about how to best use this nutritious ingredient in a way their entire families will enjoy. This quick recipe makes mushrooms fun and tasty, even for the most picky of eaters!

Adapted from: The Whole Ingredient

Cuisine: 30 minutes or less, Vegan, Gluten Free

  • 3.5 ounces trumpet, nebrodini, brown clamshell or shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp olive or grapeseed oil, plus extra for cooking
  1. At least 30 minutes before cooking: Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl, slice the mushrooms thinly and mix well, ensuring a good coating.
  2. When you're ready to cook the shiitake bacon, heat the oven to 350°F.

  3. If using oil: spread the mushroom slices out on a tray and drizzle on a little more oil, to prevent sticking.

  4. If not using oil: spread the mushroom slices out on parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

  5. Cook for 10 minutes, turn each slice over and cook for a further 10 minutes. You can decide at this point if you want to cook the bacon longer for a crispier finish.

Chef’s Recipe Box

Find archived recipes here!

Interested in volunteering in the Kitchen Collective?

Click here to sign up!

Need food?

Call Food Connections at the REFB to find a distribution site in your community: 707-523-7903,
Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:30 pm.

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